Technical Writing VS Academic Writing: What’s the Difference?

Technical Writing VS Academic Writing: What’s the Difference?
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There are many types of writing. For example, there are technical writing and academic writing. Experienced professionals from say some students think these two types of writing are similar, the truth is that these are two completely different categories.

Technical & Academic: Definitions

It may seem that academic writing should be more complicated and difficult because it is focused on some specific and narrow discipline. Indeed, this type of writing is often associated with the use of specific jargon. In addition, academic writing may describe very complicated concepts and provide specialized knowledge. However, technical writing may also contain jargon used in a certain industry.

As the name suggests, technical writing is intended to describe technical information. It may be focused on scientific subjects, engineering, etc. The term “technical writing” is used when referring to articles, training materials, documents, etc.

Technical writing may vary depending on the specifics of a particular industry. For instance, when you have to write documentation for hardware, this task is completely different from writing about software. Technical writing is also used in many other industries, including pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and so on.

Manufacturing enterprises and other organizations aim to satisfy customers delivering top-notch products and services. Thus, these companies put a lot of effort into ensuring comfort and safety. However, they also should have quality support documentation. Technical writers create such sorts of documentation in order to fulfill the needs of the company.

Different Objectives

Technical writing and academic writing also have completely different purposes. Academic writing is aimed to present a certain point of view on a particular subject. Academic papers present results of research and demonstrate someone’s knowledge. In turn, technical writing explains something to readers and informs them. Technical papers often explain how to use a certain product or service. Technical documents can also describe procedures used by the manufacturer to perform certain tasks. What technical and academic writing have in common is that both types may contain jargon.

Audiences Are Different

Academic and technical writing also target different audiences. Academic papers are usually intended for fellow scholars. However, there are also academic pieces of writing intended for a wide audience.

Technical writing is intended for people who use the product or service. Quite often, this type of writing is also aimed for government inspectors or people responsible for specific tasks.

What Should I Choose?

As you can see, it makes sense to choose a style depending on your audience. Actually, knowing the audience is the main rule of the writing of any kind. Once you’ve determined the audience, you can proceed to choose your style of writing. For example, if you need to write an article for an academic journal, you should stick with the academic style. On the other hand, if you need to write a manual on some gadget, the technical style will obviously be the best choice. The right style will help your readers understand all the necessary details.

Think of the Impact

Think of who will read your paper and ask yourself, what is your main goal? Your style may vary depending on what you want to accomplish. For example, if you’re writing for the general audience, which is quite diverse, you should choose the technical style. On the other hand, if you want to persuade your readers, the academic style will be a better choice. Academic writing enables you to provide reasons, evidence, and various details related to your assumption. If you want to persuade your readers, put more effort into writing a strong conclusion that will make an impact.

Career Options

If you become a technical writer, you will be able to find jobs in various industries, including pharmaceutical, IT, manufacturing, etc. There are many companies from all over the world that look for talented technical writers who can describe their devices and technical processes. You can also choose some narrow niche, for example, a certain type of software or hardware, and work in this area.

Academic writers should have better writing skills in order to write academic articles. Academic writers can also work as thesis writers, essay writers, dissertation writers, and so on. If you choose to work in the academic field, you will write white papers, research reports, and many other types of academic papers.

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